So, if you’re trying to get pregnant, at some point you’ll wind up on a forum for people who are trying to conceive.
It doesn’t matter if you want to go there. It doesn’t matter if you hate the internet, in general, and regard social media with the fear and skepticism of an Amish person, and decline every invitation to join LinkedIn and would rather show people your actual junk on the bus than join Snapchat. You will wind up on a TTC board or page or group, and when you do, you will regret the day you were ever born.
That’s because TTC boards are so teeming with acronyms and lingo, you’ll think you joined the Navy. The giveaway is in the name, and I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining that one. I will, however, clue you in to a few other terms that you should know, so you won’t blunder around like I did when I innocently Googled my way into one.
AF = Aunt Flo. Because we are 10, apparently.
AP= Attachment Parenting. One of about 1 million possible “parenting styles” available to anyone who has a child in the 21st century. It’s not an acronym, but a “parenting style,” regardless of what type it is, is a thing people develop to counteract the crippling fear of ruining their baby. It probably also helps dispel the panic that sets in once when they realize they’re never going to be able to concentrate on their career or friends again.
BBT = Basal Body Temperature. A thing you measure to find out if you’re ovulating and are thus required to pretend you still want to have sex. Your husband will learn to eye the thermometer with fear and loathing, as he no longer wants to have sex either. Especially if you’ve ever used the next term on the list.
BD = …I am so sorry to have to tell you this, but BD means … Baby Dance. Which means sex. I know. Go ahead and kill yourself. I’ll wait.
BFN/BFP = Big Fat Negative/Big Fat Positive. Readings on a pregnancy test. You want the second one. Probably. Otherwise, you got very lost in your Googling.
DH = Dear Husband. I have never seen DW, or Dear Wife — maybe lesbians have their own boards? I wonder if they’re more or less terrible.
DS/DD = Dear Son/Dear Daughter. The only acceptable name for your children. I frankly don’t believe that they’re always feeling that positive about their kids, but maybe in these terrifying times, DSS shows up if you use any other term. DSS, BTW, stands for Department of Social Services. I know you know what BTW stands for, because it’s entered our lexicon to the point where I actually heard someone say it out loud the other day — “BEE TEE DUBLE-YEW” — which took longer than saying the words it was supposed to abbreviate, and thus threw me into a tailspin for about 20 minutes.
There’s a lot more, but you get the idea.
I understand by writing this, I look like sort of an ingrate. There are nice people on those boards, and having a secret language is probably a way to feel connected as a community, as well as trying to keep things simple. Also, the stress of trying to get pregnant would drive anyone to acronym abuse.
Still, there’s something so twee and precious about all these terms that grates on my nerves. It’s like the habit of calling other grown women “mama” when they’re not actually your mother. I can’t help but feel that we’re taking something almost indescribably huge and important and real and reducing it to cutesy abbreviations.
But then, I’m a poop. Ask anyone.
Photo by Kim Love/Flickr